Monday, February 25, 2008

Of quizzes and baseball

You enter baseball to avoid taking tests, right? I mean, besides the playing-in-modern-cathedrals and fulfilling-childhood-dreams and taking-your-place-among-folk-heroes and maybe the money-money-money, athletes who enter baseball can reasonably expect to never have to pick up a No. 2 pencil again, isn't that right?

So what's this all about?

When first-base coach Rusty Kuntz asked the Kansas City Royals to take his quiz on outfield play and baserunning fundamentals, there were quite a few "who didn't have a clue."

Quiz? I can hardly imagine how a baseball coach might approach a player for something like this.

Kuntz: Hey guy, would you mind taking this short quiz?
Player: Yeah, sure, where do I sign?
Kuntz: Uh, no... I think you have me confused with a 10-year-old boy asking for an autograph. I need you to take this quiz on baseball fundamentals.
Player: Wait, who are you again?

But it's good to see the Royals are serious about fundamentals, and if you have any doubt that new manager Trey Hillman is serious about winning, read this from Tim Brown of Yahoo. Notice that the operative and formerly oft-used word "believes," which appears early in the article, later turns into "expects," as in, "So, he’ll demand wins, and all that goes into them, and he’ll expect championships."

Anyway, one more point on the quiz: what I want to know -- and I'll throw this over to the guys at Bucs Dugout -- is the possible identity of the player described here:

But that was better than the first player Kuntz quizzed a couple of years ago in Pittsburgh.

"Out of 50 questions, the guy got five correct," Kuntz said. "And this was a starting player in the major leagues, a very well-known guy. I thought, 'Oh, my gosh. Oh, my goodness.'"

Here's the Pirates roster from 2006. Have at it.

Of course, judging by some of the questions -- "...can you have an infield fly rule on a bunt play?" -- I'm not sure any of us are in a position to criticize anybody's performance. I mean, it's not like getting a 4 on the 50-point Wonderlic test, wasting three hours of your workday on Tickle or flunking a personality test.

POSTSCRIPT: Bunting came up again, by the way. This is going to be a recurring theme throughout the season, I just know it.

1 comment:

  1. that's not even a question. it was obviously Jose Hernandez. that guy is clueless.